Monday, March 3, 2008

I made bagels!

I finally got around the making bagels. I used the recipe in the Better Homes And Gardens cookbook. The recipe had me broil, boil, and bake the bagels. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of white flour.

They turned out ok, not great. I broiled them maybe a minute too long and they ended up a little crisper on the outside than ideal. I also added cinnamon to try to get a cinnamon bagel, but I didn't add enough so they don't have much flavor. Overall, the texture of the inside is good though.

I have another recipe that calls for a longer first rise and skips the broiling. I'm going to try that recipe next time and either add more cinnamon or try for an herb bagel.



I've been having a lot of problems lately getting any dough I make to knead. I'm using the Kitchenaid, so it should go quicker but even with the Kitchenaid I'm not reaching windowpane even after 15 minutes or more. Anyone out there know enough about bread to tell me why my bread isn't kneading? Is it the flour I'm using? Do I need to use more flour?

18 comments:

Farmgirl_dk: said...

You made bagels. I'm so impressed. They look lovely - sorry they didn't turn out as well as you had hoped. What does it mean to "reach windowpane"? I've never heard that term before.

ga.farmgirl said...

The bagels look great. I've never made bagels but when I made yeast rolls or bread if the dough did not rise long enough, it was hard to knead. Still though, those really look good.

Christy said...

Farmgirl - Windowpane is how you know when you are done kneading the dough. At this stage you can stretch the dough thin enough to see light through it without it tearing, hence they call it windowpane. I can never get my dough to this stage no matter how long I knead.

ga.farmgirl - You let the dough rise before you knead it? I've never read anywhere to do that. I always knead first then let it rise. They say it won't rise properly if it isn't kneaded properly because kneading develops the gluten. I've thought about adding gluten to see if that will work better.

Stacey said...

Christy, I have a Kitchenaid as well but I don't do the actual kneading in the mixer, though it is great for mixing with the paddle. What I know about kneading until done is that it varies by bread. Some only want you to get it to hold together while others it is until it regains it's shape when poked. I don't think either of those breads would stand up to the window pane test. Was the dough too tough or crumbly? Was the day humid or dry? I use Beth Hensperger's Bread Bible and I find that she gives good detailed instructions and trouble shooting. Hope any of this helps.

linda m said...

Your bagels look really good. I've never tried to make them. When I used to make bread (by hand and not using my bread machine) I would knead it by hand until it was smooth and "blistered", maybe about 10 minutes. I was always told that if you over knead the dough the bread will be tough. Do you let the dough "rest" (10 to 15 min)after mixing before you knead it? That was another thing my mother always told me to do. Also I have heard that certain types of flour need gluten added to make it rise better. Rye flour is one of them. My first attempt at Rye Bread produced door stops because I didn't add gluten and the bread didn't rise properly.

Danielle said...

They look lovely. The recipe we tried looked good, but had too much sugar in it, and the bagels were way to sweet. My limited knowledge of bagels says that it's the boiling that's key, so perhaps you could leave out that first step.

I don't know about "windowpane," as I've never heard of it. But I do know that keeping my house as cool as I do can significantly affect my dough rise. I've found that another bonus of doing the dough in the bread machine, as it actually supplies enough heat to help the dough rise well.

Christy said...

Mom - I haven't been letting the dough rest before kneading but I've read that advice a few places and will do that next time.

I'm not having problem with the dough rising, just with it getting sufficiently kneaded. I'm going by Laurel's Bread book and she talks about kneading it until it reaches windowpane. I guess I will give up on the goal and just knead it until it is smooth. I can get it looking smooth but when I stretch it it breaks right away. This is supposed to be not good.

farm mom said...

Well, I cannot help you with the kitchenaid kneading, but I have to say I am so impressed! They look wonderful anyway, even if they weren't perfect. Go you!

Maggie said...

The bagels look great. The type of flour is important, hard wheat flour has more gluten which will develop when you knead it, yes I would boil and bake. and yes the dough is left to rise and double in size then punched down before you knead.
But I am no expert on bagels, check out a bagel blog I am sure there must be one.

Christy said...

Maggie - That is interesting, I've read A LOT of bread books and I've never seen one that says to do a full rise before kneading. A few have suggested a 10 minutes rest before kneading but they all have you knead before letting the bread rise. I may try letting it rise first and then kneading it.

Kathryn and Ari said...

Gorgeous! And look on the bright side: if they're already crispy, then you won't need to toast them as long!

Twinville said...

I've always wanted to try making bagels. Yours' looks so yummy and pretty, too.
I actually like my bagels to have a bit of crispy crust as opposed to soft crust.

I'm afraid now to try any bread baking because every time I try it doesn't work out.
Since moving to our house at 7,000 ft above sea level it's been a challenge to get bread to come out right.
Got any ideas?

Christy said...

Twinville - I've heard that the no-knead bread does well at high altitudes. Here is my post about it: http://farmdreams-christy.blogspot.com/2007/05/no-knead-bread.html

P said...

I think your bagels look fabulous. I made some a few years back that were like hard little knots (Sort of good in their own way) I don't think I broiled them, just boiled and baked.

Does your recipe call for malt extract? Took me a while to find the stuff.

Chile said...

One trick I read somewhere was to knead a bit, let it rest a bit, knead some more, rest some more, and so on. I think it was something like knead 4 minutes, rest 2 minutes, and so on until you've kneaded a total of about 15 minutes. The little rest periods let the gluten develop supposedly.

Christy said...

P- No malt extract in these. I've found a number of recipes that don't call for it.

Chile - That is a good way to do the kneading. I'm pretty sure from now on I'm going to add a 20 minute rise before I even start kneading to give everything a chance to come together and for the gluten to start forming.

Maggie said...

OOps I just re read what I wrote I meant to say that the dough should be left to rise after the first good kneading then punched back and re kneaded and then left to rise again.
Ah well you might invent something better than bagels.

CHASE said...

hi,
your whole wheat flour will tear before you "reach windowpane." white flour bread is more homogenous and will stretch out farther before ripping. the bagels look mighty tasty!
chase